Wallace Wins at Eldora
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on July 23, 2014 | 10:50 P.M. EST
Wallace celebrates the win in the second annual Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
ROSSBURG, Ohio - Darrell Wallace Jr. held off a furious charge from Kyle Larson to win Wednesday's Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.
Wallace scored the third win of his career and second of 2014 to give Kyle Busch Motorsports eight victories in the season’s 10 races. He also drove Toyota to its 12th straight series win dating back to the end of last season.
"That’s so cool, on dirt at Eldora," Wallace said. "It’s awesome here. I came into this kind of skeptical. I knew we’d run top five. I was worried about the Toyota streak, I’m not going to lie."
Although Wallace had a dominant truck, Larson did all he could to run him down in the thrilling closing laps. The young driver bounced off the wall several times trying to wrestle the lead away, and his truck was visibly beaten and battered. Larson finally made too much contact with the unforgiving wall just two laps from the finish and a broken track bar ended his night with a 26th-place finish.
"I hit the wall way too many times," Larson said. "I hit it pretty hard on that last restart and I don't know if it shoved the fender in. But every time I would get to the cushion, it would just suck me in. I feel really stupid. It sucks to lose it that way, but Darrell did a really good job."
Wallace, who won last month at Gateway Motorsports Park, led 97 of the 150 laps run around the half-mile dirt oval.
"I wish my mom was here," said Wallace. "But this is a good-luck streak. She wasn't at Martinsville and she wasn't at Gateway. She's not coming any more."
With Larson falling out, Ron Hornaday finished 5.5 seconds behind in second for his best finish of the season in his battered Chevrolet.
"We didn't have a scratch on the truck after qualifying and the heat race so I said, 'You guys better look out because it's going to be big in the main event,' " Hornaday said. "I think I hit everything here. To be a part of this Turner Scott Motorsports team is pretty cool. We're turning it around and I'm having a blast."
Ryan Blaney, Ken Schrader and Ty Dillon rounded out the top five. Dillon’s finish capped what turned out to be an eventful night that included a cut tire and a confusing call by NASCAR on pit road. He was penalized a lap for fueling during a stop but was awarded the "Lucky Dog" on the Lap 112 competition caution and was able to charge back to the front of the field.
"We had a good enough truck to win," Dillon said. "We ran into a misunderstanding there with our pit stop, but we kept our chin up and kept digging. I was proud of our attitude and Danny's (Stockman) determination to win."
John Hunter Nemechek, Jeb Burton, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and defending race winner Austin Dillon completed the first 10 finishers. Wallace’s KBM teammate, Erik Jones, started from the pole in his first race on dirt but was plagued by early problems including a flat tire on Lap 25 that took him from contention for the win.
Blaney took over the series lead by four points over Crafton with Sauter, Hornaday and German Quiroga completing the top five. Jones, Burton, Hornaday, Blaney and Sauter won heat races while Jon Wes Townley took the last-chance qualifying race.
The Camping World Truck Series now heads to Pocono Raceway for its next race on Saturday, Aug. 2.